Graph homology and stability of coupled oscillator networks

Jared C. Bronski, Lee Deville, Timothy Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are a number of models of coupled oscillator networks where the question of the stability of fixed points reduces to calculating the index of a graph Laplacian. Some examples of such models include the Kuramoto and Kuramoto-Sakaguchi equations as well as the swing equations, which govern the behavior of generators coupled in an electrical network. We show that the index calculation can be related to a dual calculation which is done on the first homology group of the graph, rather than the vertex space. We also show that this representation is computationally attractive for relatively sparse graphs, where the dimension of the first homology group is low, as is true in many applications. We also give explicit formulae for the dimension of the unstable manifold to a phase-locked solution for graphs containing one or two loops. As an application, we present some novel results for the Kuramoto model defined on a ring and compute the longest possible edge length for a stable solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1126-1151
Number of pages26
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Coupled oscillators
  • Dynamics on networks
  • Graph laplacian
  • Kuramoto model
  • Spectral graph theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


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